Rosenberg City Council member Kevin Raines wants to make sure ordinances are enforced, especially when it comes to vegetation maintenance.

At the October workshop meeting, council members agreed to revise the ordinance that provides for property owners to maintain vegetation in adjoining rights-of-way to include maintenance of alleys.

While the existing ordinance does not specify alleys, it has always been interpreted as including alley rights-of-way and the city has not encountered issues with that interpretation, Community Development Director Travis Tanner told council.

“So basically, this is how it’s always been treated by the city, this is how the municipal prosecutor believes the property owners are responsible for maintaining the adjoining alleys,” Tanner said.

Recently, however, it has been suggested the ordinance could be clarified in case it is ever questioned over whether the requirement includes alleys. Council member Isaac Davila asked if homeowners are required to take care of the alleys.

“Right now, we do require that,” Tanner responded. “But it’s being clarified in the (proposed revision to the) ordinance.

“In other words, it says adjoining rights-of-way, unpaired streets, things like this. So basically, we’ve consulted with the municipal prosecutor about it.

“Her interpretation is the same as ours. It’s just a clarification.”

Raines said he would hate to make the effort to change the ordinance without enforcing it.

“I get more complaints on alleys not being taken care of and it just seems like it goes by the wayside,” Raines revealed. “People complain that they want it taken care of, but the city says, ‘it’s not ours, it’s yours,’ and until we start citing people or holding people accountable, this is just a waste of time.

“We’ve got to get strong with some of these ordinances that deal with beautification. Make things better. That’s what we need to do.

“We can write this all day long, if we don’t hold people accountable, it’s all for naught.”

Tanner explained that this revision wouldn’t change the way the ordinance is interpreted, but rather makes it clear that it includes alley rights-of-way.

Mayor Bill Benton said that would make it easier to enforce.

“The bottom line is you either enforce it or you let it go and if you let it go, the people are going to complain,” Benton said.

City staff said this item will come back to council for formal approval.

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